YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT
The saying, which has evolved over time, goes something like this – if you are not paying for it, you are not the customer. You are the product.
In just over a decade, mega-platforms like Google, YouTube (owned by Google), and Facebook have conditioned us to pay for their software without money. Instead, we pay with our attention, personal behavior monitoring, and even our creative content. For the “privilege” of using these platforms, we agree to let them track our every keystroke and mouse click, selling it to the highest corporate advertising or special interest bidder. Of course, you really can’t get something for nothing.
We all know it’s a lousy setup. Given the choice, no one would volunteer to hand over control of their own privacy or creative content. And, yet, we do it every day. Why? Because there seem to be no good alternatives. What else would we use?
You Are The Purpose
In 2017, Franz Michael Ressel, son of Austrian-born tech entrepreneur Franz Ressel, was an up and coming YouTuber living in the San Francisco, California, USA Bay area. For years, he worked to build a following of tens of thousands of subscribers. But when YouTube abruptly altered their algorithm, his views plummeted. Frustrated with the lack of options to address the loss of viewers and revenue, Franz Michael approached his father Franz for help.
“YouTube really doesn’t care about the individual creator, at the end of the day,” explains Franz Michael. “They don’t care about the communities that are on there. They are a data collection machine for Google. That’s what they do. And so Franz said, “Well, why don’t we actually build a platform that puts the creator first…the community first?” And, you know, flip this whole thing on its head?”
Less than a year later, that’s exactly what they did.
XOTV is a uniquely creator-centric platform that believes you are the purpose, not the product. As a privacy-focused content marketplace, XOTV allows hand-selected content creators to deliver the highest quality, intentional content to community members who want to engage and explore without being advertised to or watched. Rather than paying with their eyeballs, viewers have the ability to directly support their favorite content creators through one-time purchases, donations, or modest subscription fees. This means creators can focus on producing the highest quality content, not just churning out marketing bait.
In this way, everyone benefits. Videographers, musicians, bloggers and live streamers from around the world are paid substantially and directly while community members retain their right to privacy and the ability to choose who they’d like to financially support.
Who doesn’t win? Advertisers, special interests, and mega-corporations looking to maximize shareholder dividends.
“We are really privacy-focused,” shares Franz. “So, we don’t track anything we don’t have to track, except for what we need to make the website run. We don’t do any data collection, we don’t build any profiles, and we don’t use algorithms.”
“We actually use one of the most complex algorithms, which is the human algorithm. We use HI, not AI – human intelligence.”Franz Ressel, Co-Founder of XOTV
In other words, real people hand curate what you see on the front page of the site. The focus is on quality, not quantity. This creates a more engaging, purposeful relationship between creators and consumers.
“We want to empower creators to follow their passions and tell their stories while giving them a way to make a living off their work,” Franz Michael explains. “We want the creator to get paid what they deserve.”
Culturs joins XOTV
Culturs Magazine Editor-in-Chief Doni Aldine was immediately intrigued when she learned about XOTV from a former student and XOTV Director of Marketing and Engagement, Katie Mitchell. Aldine, a professional content creator with a mission to create an engaging cross-cultural global community, saw an opportunity to give voice to Culturs community members. By joining a platform that empowers and engages instead of exploits and distracts, our team members can create exactly what our community members want.
Today, Aldine serves as an Advisor to XOTV and has curated a Culturs Global Multicultural TV channel on the platform.
XOTV Co-Founders Franz Ressel (father) and Franz Michael Ressel (son) both identify as cross-cultural. Franz emigrated from Austria to the United States at 21 years old. He enrolled at the University of Kansas, Kansas, USA to pursue both a degree in Computer Science, plus a love interest. She was an American exchange student to Austria that took his place as first chair flutist in a local band while he was away serving in the army.
The couple spent a decade in Kansas City, Kansas, USA. There they had a son, Franz Michael. The family moved to the San Francisco, CA, USA Bay area when Franz Michael was just one.
To accommodate the family’s mobile lifestyle, including frequent trips to Europe, Franz Michael was homeschooled and raised biculturally, though identifies primarily as American.
“XOTV has employees and creators around the world, as does Culturs Magazine. We saw working with Culturs as a really good fit.”
To learn more about XOTV, visit XOTV.me and check out Culturs TV, channel 312, at https://xotv.me/channels/312-culturs-global-multicultural-tv.